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Katie Phipps, initially arrested, testifies in Spielbauer capital murder trial

Published: Jan. 23, 2018 at 3:24 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 23, 2018 at 8:02 PM CST
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Robin Spielbauer, Source: KFDA
Robin Spielbauer, Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - A highly anticipated witness took the stand today to testify in the capital murder trial of Jeremy Spielbauer.

Katie Phipps is the defendant's former wife, and was initially arrested in the murder of Robin Spielbauer.

Those charges were later dropped.

Katie's testimony was emotional at times today as she expressed the problems she had with Robin when she and Jeremy were married.

She spent more than a year behind bars for the murder.

After four interviews with Randall County officials in 2014, Jeremy Spielbauer finally admitted that he met Robin at Helium Road the night of the crime when Katie showed up.

However, when Katie took the stand today, she maintained that the night of Robin's murder she was at a friend's house before she returned home with her son Diego.

Defense attorney Joe Marr Wilson said the fact that Katie's story hasn't changed raises questions.

"I think if people look at it and think of real life stories, even when you're trying to be consistent and tell the truth, never remain the same," said Wilson. "And the fact that her's has been in lockstep from day one, most people, a lot of law enforcement people, will tell you that that's an indicator that something's awry."

On the other hand, Randall County District Attorney James Farren believes her story proves she's innocent.

"[Jeremy] didn't realize that the digital technology was going to prove that Katie was never at Helium road that night," said Farren. "His story has changed over, and over and over as it evolved to what Mongold wanted to hear. Katie's story has never changed."

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Katie spoke on her issues with Robin and even described a previous physical altercation they had.

Wilson said her lack of empathy for Robin is alarming.

"I'll be quite honest with you, I was incredibly surprised on how she testified here today," said Wilson. "I would've thought that she would be humbled, instead of being bitter, would be humbled to some extent and would have a little more perspective on life when she went to talk about someone's life that had been ended."

One text message that raised questions during cross examination was one from Katie to Jeremy the evening of Robin's murder saying quote:

"My dreams of having a happy family are gone. I'm not going to make you carry this burden anymore. You started it and I'll finish it."

The prosecution said Katie was talking about divorce papers she had already drawn up, while the defense said it shows Katie could have had intentions to hurt Robin.

Farren also said the text messages the following day between Jeremy and Katie don't add up because Jeremy claims Katie showed up to Helium Road the night of the murder.

But Farren said text messages the next morning show Katie asking Jeremy about being with Robin the night before.

Farren believes if Katie really was at Helium Road, she wouldn't have had those suspicions.

Katie also described an altercation she and Jeremy had after Robin's body was found in which she claims Jeremy grabbed her by the throat and said he handled the problem and threatened her.

Katie then testified that before she could tell authorities what happened, she was arrested.

Farren said testimony on Tuesday will show Katie tried to tell people about the confrontation multiple times while she was in jail.

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